Sixth set of plans submitted for new Wetherspoons pub - is this the one?
PUBLISHED: 11:57 24 January 2020
National pub company JD Wetherspoon has submitted a sixth set of plans for a new venue in Felixstowe - and is confident that it has at last found a design which will be acceptable.
Architects acting for the company have taken into account concerns of community leaders and planners in designing a two-storey pub for the former Central Surgery site.
KD Paine & Associates Ltd's (KDPA) previous scheme envisaged a five-storey contemporary block of 24 apartments - taller than the Orwell Hotel on the opposite side of Hamilton Road - with a pub on the ground floor.
However, while planning officers at East Suffolk Council were delighted to see the site revitalised, they were concerned at the height of the property and that it was "overbearing" and would have a big impact on the neighbourhood.
KDPA took away the concerns and returned with their new design which will see a pub on two floors, with a beer garden on the ground floor and a terrace on the first floor.
Importantly, the building will also face into the open space of Great Eastern Square, which town councillors had been insisting upon.
KDPA said: "The site's opportunities and constraints have been carefully considered and a scheme developed that utilises the site to its best potential for a successful pub, whilst providing an aesthetic that respects its surroundings and appropriate for its prominent position for the area.
"The proposal will revitalise a derelict site with a landmark building and offer a refreshment and dining on a public square at the entrance of the town.
"We believe it would be a positive step for the site and the area as whole."
With the Orwell Hotel, the development had the potential to create a landmark "gateway" entrance to the commercial centre of town.
JD Wetherspoon has been trying to develop the site since 2014 and has been granted permission for a pub already - despite enormous opposition from residents in the area to the earliest applications.
The previous five applications included various pub designs and a spectacular four-storey building including a pub and a 50-room hotel.
Wetherspoon's has said that it intends to build the project - which will create 50 new jobs - this year. The chain is investing £200m in pubs and hotels across the country, including Felixstowe, Diss and Ely in this region.